Monthly Archives: August 2017

Throwback Thursday: The Enchanted Forrest

My parents divorced when I was 5 years old. I really don’t have many memories of living with both of them. Just some hazy pictures that might not even so much be actual memories as remnants of stories or actual pictures I’ve seen from my earliest years. One very real memory I do have moving from Indiana to California via Amtrak train. It was quite an adventure, which for the most part I enjoyed. I do remember getting some sort of turkey with brown gravy dinner that I thought was disgusting, but other than that, I loved our tiny little sleeper car (which did not seem tiny to me) and watching the country fly by before my eyes.

This trip, while exciting, meant starting a new life in California with my mom, step-dad and little brother. And that meant leaving the rest of my family, including my dad, behind. That part was beyond awful. I spent 46 weeks out of most years with my mom in Southern California, but for 6 glorious weeks every summer, I got to come back home and be with my family.

Those 6 months were, without a doubt, the most exciting of the year. Since my dad got me for such a short amount of time, he made sure not to waste a single second of it. It was 6 weeks spent in an almost non-step quest for fun. Sure, my dad had to work during that time, but he was a paramedic and usually worked a 24 hour shift followed by 2 full days off. That meant that of the 6 weeks I came to visit, he only had to work about 2 of the weeks, plus, he always took off vacation time, so really he only worked a handful of days during my visit.

While we did have “normal” days where we stayed at home, watched TV, played in the yard or ran errands, we had just as many days where we went to parks–both the natural and themed variety. Despite the fact that back in SoCal, I had Disneyland pretty much in my backyard, I LOVED visiting theme parks with my dad and anyone else in the family who wanted to tag along, which usually meant my aunt and grandma.

My favorite destination was definitely Six Flags Great America, just outside of Chicago. Not only was it a day filled with delicious (and completely unhealthy) snacks, rides and tons of souvenir stuffed animals, shirts and knick-knacks, but it also meant a long drive with my family where my dad would tell stories, we’d sing songs and he’d let me hold the money for the toll roads. It was heaven.

As much as I loved Great America, since it was a bit of a drive, we usually only went once each summer. However, that hardly meant only one day of thrill rides for me. Not too far away from my dad’s house there were a couple small, locally owned amusement parks. My favorite was the Enchanted Forrest, located in Porter, Indiana. My aunt and I used to ride the Mad Mouse roller coaster until I had screamed myself hoarse and was ready to puke. As much as the crazy jerks terrified me, I loved it. I also was crazy over the Tilt-a-Whirl. And don’t even get me started on the mini-train that we could ride all around the park.

The Enchanted Forrest¬†actually hosted corporate type events all the time. I remember one time the steel mill my grandpa worked at rented it for the day and we got to go along. Not only did we get to ride all of the rides, but there was a huge company picnic. Another year, my dad’s fire department had an event there and while we didn’t quite have the whole place to ourselves, I felt so important being there with all of the firefighters. The Enchanted Forrest was the first place where I drove a go-kart. It was also where I began my love affair with skee-ball. Since it was located right next to the Indiana Dunes, even when we weren’t going to spend the day there, we drove by it quite often on our way to play at the actual Dunes.

Sadly, it closed in 1991. I had just started high school and was not old enough to drive there to hang out with my friends, but too old to ask my parents to go with me. I did, however, watch as it transitioned into an entirely new theme park: Splash Down Dunes Water Park. I went off to college before it was actually finished, so I never went there. It was odd to watch one of my favorite childhood playgrounds become something so very different.

I only came home for college one summer. Once I returned for the start of my sophomore year, I never lived near the Dunes again. I didn’t even realize that SDD closed in 2009 and then was reopened as Seven Peaks Water Park. I know my aunt still went there with her kids, but out of habit she still called it Dunes water park. Apparently as of June of this year, even it has closed down due to guests getting chemical burns from the water. There are currently no plans to reopen it.

It’s odd to think that a place that has brought so much fun to so many people for almost 60 years is closed. Even though I’m not a huge fan of water parks, I hope that they are able to fix the problem and that it does reopen. Families need places like The Enchanted Forrest and Splash Down Dunes and Seven Peaks Water Park to build those memories.

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Wildcard Wednesday: Artistic socks

Starry Night socksToday was not a good day. I can’t exactly explain everything that made it a bad day. It was just one of those days that by lunch time, I was ready to tear my own hair out. And when I gathered with my fellow teachers, ready to unleash the tide of small annoyances and inconveniences that seemed to be ruling the day, I found I wasn’t alone.

Although my work friends and I gather almost every day to eat lunch together, it is rarely a complaint fest. Generally lunch is a time when we guffaw over something silly a student has said or some unfortunate word choice we’ve made in class that we thought nothing of, but the kids nearly lost it over. There was no joy in Mudville today though. As soon as I entered the room, desperate for sympathetic ears to vent to, I found out that because my lunch had taken longer to heat up than normal, I’d already missed every other member of the group releasing their frustrations. They let me go off the rails for a few minutes and all commiserated. Before lunch was even over, another member of our department came down to apologize for being so grumpy at the morning meeting because she too was just having one of those days. We all assured her that in our own funks we’d hardly noticed.

I could go on and on and on here over my frustrations. If I was the type of person to drowned my sorrows in alcohol, I might be going through a bottle of wine tonight. Instead, I fed my anger/annoyance/frustrations with a chocolate chip cookie. Although it did not even kind of solve my problems or really make me feel any better, I have decided not to vent anymore today.

wave socksInstead, I am going to lighten my mood, and talk about the amazingly fun socks I wore today. Last year I did an Amazon search for “tall socks.” I have these super cute black boots that I love to wear. However, the have a slightly odd cut to them and if I do not have really tall socks, the material on the top edges rubs against my leg (they are not at all tight, they smack into the back of my calf when I walk) and it is horribly uncomfy.

While my search did not quite turn up what I wanted (I just have to wear the boots with leggings), it did help me find these fun, funky art socks. Although they may not have been able to totally improve my day, just looking at them now does make me a bit happier.

As a rule, I don’t wear socks. If I had my way, I would wear some sort of sandal all year long. Unfortunately in Indiana, despite many years of trying to make any type of weather sandal weather (yes, in college I once had to call a friend to pick me up from work because I’d worn sandals and while I was in the office it had started to snow and I knew I would not be able to walk all the way back to my apartment without losing a toe), I have had to give in and buy “real shoes.” I am known for my poor choice of footwear. On any given occasion, I am always wearing the wrong thing on my feet. Unless I am going to the gym, I try to avoid having socks on.

The Scream socksStill, from time to time I must wear them, so I like for them to be something fun. My favorite pair are probably my purple Shakespeare socks. Although I do like the ones with the curse words on them too, especially when I have them hidden by my pant legs at school.

Days like today it is especially helpful to know that while I can’t actually let loose with the giant scream that is welling up inside me in the middle of my class, at least I can take comfort in the fact that my socks are screaming for me.

 

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Teaching Tuesday: Breakout boxes

breakout boxAt our very first PLC (Professional Learning Community) of the year, we had a choice: we could work with our tech educator to learn how to use Canvas, our classroom management system, OR we could work with our media specialist on breakout boxes. Since I already have a very good working knowledge of Canvas and the media specialist happens to be one of my best friends in the universe, my choice was easy.

If you aren’t familiar with a breakout box, it is basically a small scale escape room. The concept is exactly the same: solve a bunch of riddles and clues in order to break out. Unlike an escape room, participants aren’t trying to break out of the room, but rather break into the locked box which holds some sort of prize or treasure.

Our school bought 10 break out boxes from Breakout EDU and those of us who joined our media specialist got a taste of teamwork and fun at a PLC (it might be a first). We worked on a pre-made Breakout EDU game called “The Faculty Meeting.” The scenario was all too real–the principal has locked the agenda for the faculty meeting in the box in an attempt to make the meeting last forever. Unless we could break into the box and retrieve the agenda, we would be stuck in the meeting forever. If our competitive natures were not enough motivation, we were told we could actually leave the meeting as soon as we got the box open. We ran for out box.

Through a series of clever clues, all designed to get us to think critically and work together, we managed to open each lock. The directional lock (the red one) gave us a bit of trouble. We figured out the pattern easy enough, but accidentally hit one wrong direction and didn’t know we had to clear the pattern by double clicking the lock. Once we figured that out, we were on our way. Our only other slight hiccup was finding the key for the final lock. Based on the word clues, I knew that it had to be hidden in the dictionary, but the person looking through the dictionary wouldn’t listen to my initial suggestion. Although the delay only cost a minute or so, it was just enough so that our competition broke out first. We were less than 30 seconds behind, but our pride was a bit hurt.

The activity was so much fun that I immediately scheduled a meeting with our media specialist during my prep so that we could work on a break out box for my film lit class. Unfortunately there were no ready made games that would fit my rather unique curriculum, so I set about making my own version. With the help of my trusty media specialist, we got the planning sheet and got to work.

My game mirrored some aspects of the Faculty Meeting. Instead of an agenda being locked away from us, I made my students production assistants on a movie set. The director was in search of the perfect shot for her movie and they had it. Unfortunately, a rival assistant stole the coveted shot and hid it away. Working together with their fellow production assistants, they had to decode a series of clues, all related to the aspects of cinematography we’d learned in class to recover their perfect shots.

My students needed a lot more guidance and most groups needed both of their hints to break into their boxes and find the shots, but all four groups managed to work together and escape. I was amazed that despite being in a very social setting, my kids stayed on task and really did work together. As I walked around their “rooms” (different sections of the library)–they were all discussing the puzzles and trying to figure out how to put the clues in order to discover the combinations. It didn’t quite take the 45 minutes I’d allotted for the activity, but after they were done, I gave them question cards to discuss with their groups and then we came back as a big group to discuss them.

The following day we not only talked about what they liked/disliked about the activity (the only negative was that one of the locks had the number imputed in out of order so it did take awhile to figure out–but it taught the adults a lesson). I also then displayed each group’s perfect shot on the white board and as a class we discussed all the elements of cinematography we’d learned as part of a review before the test.

It was fun and productive for everyone involved. I cannot wait to try another breakout box with my AP Lit kids when we start working on The Crucible.

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Chocolate Monday: Vanilla Bean Bakery cake truffles

vanilla bean truffles.jpgWhenever I see a bakery, I am always tempted to stop in just to see what they might have. After passing by Vanilla Bean Bakery many times, I was enticed by their sign advertising cake pops. Being on this diet for the last month has definitely upped my desire for smaller portions of sweets that I can still enjoy, but feel better about eating.

From the first time I had a cake pop–even though they were just called cake bites at the time–I fell in love. My favorite bakery/coffee shop started selling them about 8 years ago. They didn’t have any sticks attached to them. They looked like large truffles and they were sinfully delicious. I was pregnant with my daughter at the time and just about every time I stopped in to have lunch or get tea with my best friend, I either had to have a toffee cookie or a cake bite. When I was in the hospital with my daughter, my best friend actually brought me a box full of cake bites to help me celebrate.

I quickly figured out how to make them and had lots of fun trying them out in my kitchen. One year, instead of making my usual Christmas chocolates and truffles to give out as gifts, I made cake bites. My cake bites were twists on classic Christmas treats. I had a gingerbread cake dipped in milk chocolate with a fun white squiggle, an eggnog cake dipped in white chocolate with cinnamon on top, a white cake with ground up peppermint candies dipped in white chocolate (with chopped up candy pieces on top) and a chocolate fudge cake dipped in milk chocolate. They were a HUGE hit.

As much as I love cake bites and pops, they are pretty labor intensive. It’s just so much easier to make a cake, so that’s what I usually do these days.

However, I was craving something smaller, so on a whim I succumbed to advertising and stopped in Vanilla Bean Bakery. They had over a dozen different flavors of cake truffles, which are basically just bigger cake bites. It was a hard choice because every flavor was pretty darn appealing. For myself I had to go with Heath because my default is always either caramel or toffee. I also grabbed a peanut butter torte truffle. My husband is a die-hard peanut butter man, so I got him one as well and a carrot cake truffle as he likes fruitier flavors with his chocolate. I got my son a chocolate birthday cake truffle and my daughter a vanilla birthday cake truffle. I figured the sprinkles would be all either of them would really care about. I’m pretty sure they’ll eat anything as long as it has sprinkles on top.

Although I’m usually a saved the best for last kind of gal, I wanted the Heath one last night. The cake was good, but really just chocolate cake. It wasn’t quite as moist as I was expecting it to be. It wasn’t dry, not by a long shot, but it wasn’t as moist as my cake bites are and I was a bit disappointed. I did like the little bits of Heath sprinkled on top which gave it the needed toffee crunch. It was pretty tasty and made even better by the fact that I didn’t have to make it myself.

My daughter let me try a bite of her vanilla birthday cake truffle. It looked like Funfetti cake on the inside and the outside. The white chocolate it was dipped in was VERY sweet. I only got a small bite, but the only flavor I could really taste was white chocolate. Granted, it was a small bite, so it’s probably not a fair judgement.

vanilla bean close upTonight I tried my peanut butter torte. I have to say it’s not really torte-y. It’s not so much a cake truffle as it is a giant, slightly grainy buckeye. It has very good peanut butter flavor. It’s not overly sweet, which is nice. Store bought buckeyes can often be cloyingly sweet, but this one is not. I’m not quite sure why it has the grittier texture, but I definitely enjoyed it. It’s definitely not a cake truffle, but if you are just in the market for a peanut butter truffle, it is a solid offering.

Although I only had a small sampling of their cake truffles, I would definitely go back to try some more. I’d also absolutely get the peanut butter one again.

Overall:

Taste: 8/10 (the peanut butter one definitely bumps it up higher)
Appearance: 9/10
Value: 8/10 (they are $1.35 each and HUGE). Cheaper and tastier than Starbuck’s

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Free Reading Friday: Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans

Drowned City.jpgI’m a big fan of graphic novels. I actually started teaching a graphic novel unit when I taught sophomores and was amazed at how much my students really enjoyed reading the books and doing the assignments. Even my reluctant readers found graphic novels they enjoyed and my more advanced students could challenge themselves by examining the levels of symbolic depth that can be added in the graphic portion of the storytelling.

I was excited to see Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans on the Eliot Rosewater nomination list. This is a great look at a fairly recent historical event that so many current high school students have only a very passing knowledge of. They may know the name Hurricane Katrina, but few know real details.

 

This book is a great resource for them. The story is laid out chronologically, taking the disaster day by day. There are not huge chunks of text to dive into, but the pictures speak volumes. Although I would not call any of the images graphic, exactly, they are haunting and upsetting because they help readers understand the devastation in a very real way.

While the book does a pretty good job of keeping bias to a minimum, it does present the multitude of ways that local, state and federal agencies failed the people of New Orleans. The author also makes it very clear who was most impacted by the disaster: the poor.

I think this is an excellent book for anyone who likes graphic novels, but particularly for 7-12th graders who need some historical perspective

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Throwback Thursday: The State Fair

poopThe sun is beating down mercilessly. The smell of fried dough and cow manure lingers in the air. The air is filled with the cacophony of thousands of voices and calliope music.

Yes, it is state fair time again!

My dad took me to my first fair when I was about 8 years old. Although we probably had state and even county fairs in Southern California, I’d never heard anyone talk about them and my mom definitely did not take us. Granted, we had two pretty impressive amusement parks practically in our back yard (Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm), and we spent a considerable amount of time there instead. I have always been a HUGE fan of rides and games of chance, so finding out that NW Indiana had rides, even on a small scale was amazing to me.

Every year my grandpa would save up all the aluminum cans he could (my family drank a LOT of soda). When my plane touched down for my annual summer visit with my dad, one of our first stops would be to visit my grandparents. We’d pile in my grandpa’s truck and take the cans to the recycling place. I got to keep every penny so I could spend it on games at the fair. My folks always paid for the rides and the food, but the games were all on me. Well, until I ran out of money anyway. Then, just the right smile could usually get me a few extra dollars.

Although neither my dad nor my step-mom usually rode the rides with me, they never complained when they spent hours waiting at the bottom of rides for me to get off the ride and get right back in line. The Gravitron was a personal favorite, but it made my step-mom absolutely sick. I also really liked The Flying Bobs¬†and the fun houses. If there was a ride, I pretty much went on it. And the games…don’t even get me started with the games.

I cannot even count the number of completely worthless “prizes” I won playing carnival games. Aside from the countless low quality, knock-off stuffed animals that were never comfortable to actually snuggle with, I won several goldfish, plastic blow up toys, small square mirrors with band names and unicorns on them and so many really cool hair clips. Or at least I thought they were hair clips. I could not understand why my mom threw such a fit when I came home with these absolutely beautiful feathered hair clips. While she didn’t make me throw them away, she refused to let me wear them to school and I was ANGRY! It wasn’t until I was a grown adult going to the fair with my friends that someone told me my elegant “hair clips” were really roach clips…which I still didn’t understand as I had no idea that the tiny bit of a joint that was hard to hold by hand was called a roach. In hindsight, I get why my mom was not thrilled with her 10-year-old bringing them home.

This past weekend, my husband and I decided to take our kids to the state fair. We hadn’t taken them since my daughter was still in a stroller, mostly due to the outrageous cost of everything at the fair and the unbearable temperatures in early August. This year, however, we had an absolutely lovely Saturday and I fooled myself into believing that it probably wouldn’t be that expensive.

Boy was I wrong!

This year we managed to snag some free parking, so I was pretty proud of us. And, on our way to buy tickets at the gate, two different groups of people gave us free tickets, so we only had to pay for our kids. Unfortunately, anyone over the age of 5 is $12 a ticket, which meant we dropped $24 before we even entered the fair.

Although I still love rides at amusement parks, there is something about the temporary nature of fair rides and my growing understanding of my own mortality, that makes me steer clear of the rides now. I haven’t been on a ride at a fair since I was a teenager. I also stay away from the games now as I have no need for the chinzy prizes. I prefer to spend my time at the fair looking at the exhibits in the buildings, petting cute animals and tasting yummy, although horribly unhealthy food.

I tried to steer my kids away from the midway, which was not easy. While neither of them were really excited about the rides (my son is kind of chicken), they both really wanted to play the games. My husband and I managed to persuade them that most of the games were rigged and it was next to impossible to win. We almost succeeded, until they saw the duck game in the special kiddie section of the fair and heard the barker cry out “everyone wins!” I forked over $10, my kids reached in, pulled up 3 ducks and *surprise*–each one a prize. I figured my daughter would go for one of the knock off big-eyed Beanie Babies. I don’t know why I was such a fool. My daughter could not possibly want a practical toy like another stuffed animal for her bed. No, both she and my son wanted giant, blow up poop emojis. Yes, that’s right, just like their mother, they won totally useless, rather disgusting prizes. Not only did they carry them around the rest of the fair (which got us all kinds of looks), but they ate their dinners holding on to them AND they made so many poop jokes that I thought I might lose their minds.

One our drive home they even started squabbling about their poops. They’d gotten tossed into the back of the SUV and my son was very worried that my daughter might get his poop instead of her own. This meant that when we got home, he convinced my daughter to let him draw glasses and teeth on her piece of poop so there would be no question about whose poop was whose.

Even though we had a pretty good time at the fair, as a grown up, I now have a very different view of the fair. We ended up spending over $100 for about 3 hours–and considering I only had part of a bison burger, part of a slushie, part of a fried cheese stick and two bites of a grilled cheese sandwich, I feel I might have gotten cheated (although I did stay on my diet).

 

 

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Wildcard Wednesday: Gym etiquette

I’ve been going to the gym on and off (and sometimes way more off) for the past decade or so. For several years I was a member of Anytime Fitness. I liked this gym because anytime I wanted to go to the gym, I could. They were actually open 24/7. It was also located in the shopping plaza just down the street from my house. Even though it was pretty close, I live on a fairly busy street with no sidewalks, so although it would have only taken me about five minutes to walk to the gym, that was nearly an impossibility. Still, it was close and open after my kids went to bed, so it was a great place for me. Since I was a teacher, they even had a discount rate for me. Instead of the usual $39.99 a month, my membership was only $29.99 a month.

This was my gym for about two years and for the most part I was happy there. I only really had a few problems and they were because other patrons didn’t seem to understand what I think is basic gym etiquette. For example: I would usually come to the gym later in the evening, often not arriving until 9 pm. Since the gym was not staffed after 7pm, anyone with a membership could use their fob to get into the building and exercise without any sort of supervision. Some people really took advantage of this. At least once a week I walked in to a TV in the weight area at the back of the gym turned up to top volume. Even though the lone guy (and it was a couple of different guys who did this) working out saw me come in, he never once turned the TV down. I always brought my iPod with me, but even with my volume turned up, I still caught snippets of whatever he was watching–usually sports.

Occasionally I could tell someone was trying to play “basketball” with their dirty paper towels. When they didn’t hit their shots, instead of walking over and picking them up, they’d just be littered around the trash can, waiting for the morning cleaning crew to come in. Several of the patrons were also pretty bad about replacing the free weights when they finished in the evening. Since I mostly stuck to the cardio machines, this didn’t bother me too much. Mostly I just thought it was rude.

A few times I felt very uncomfortable there at night. There is something very unsettling about being one of only two people in a gym late at night. It only happened a handful of times, but on two different nights I actually left only a few minutes into my workout because the guy in the gym with me kept stopping his workout to stare at me.

About six years ago, I changed gyms when Planet Fitness opened up. I’ll admit that part of my reason was the even cheaper price (only $10 a month), but another real draw was the fact that there was always someone on duty. Sure, they are only open 24/7 four days a week, but the other three days they are open until at least 7, so I can fit in my workouts.

Once again, for the most part, I really like Planet Fitness. I actually like the overall atmosphere way more than Anytime Fitness simply because no matter what time I go in, there is always music playing at a normal volume and I’ve never been in when there are fewer than a dozen people in the building with me. To me, this is comforting.

As much as I like PF, it is not without some major drawbacks…once again almost all related to gym etiquette. My biggest complaint is people not cleaning the machines. I just don’t understand how anyone can finish with a machine and not clean it. Even when I use the Arc Trainer where the only part of the machine I ever touch is the keypad to enter in all of my information, I still clean the machine, just in case some of my sweat dripped on something. When I use the weight machines, I clean the machines really well. While I won’t lie and say I am in the minority, I have never once been in the gym and not seen someone walk away from a machine without cleaning it. And, I’m not talking about people who just aren’t quite as germophobic as I am. I am talking about people sitting down at one of the weight machines, where they sweat quite a bit and just walking away without so much as running a dry towel over it, much less one with disinfectant spray on it.

Once I kindly confronted a guy about it. We were both doing the circuit training. He was sweating quite a bit and despite the fact that he knew I was using each machine about three minutes after he finished it, he was not cleaning them. When I POLITELY reminded him that he was supposed to clean them after each use, he yelled at me, “DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!” I told the staff and they said they’d talk to him. I used to see him a lot after that and he’d always glare at me and still not clean the machines. GROSS!

Oddly, it is always men who do not clean the machines. I have never once seen a woman finish with a machine and not clean it. I’m not saying all men do this or that no women do. I’m just saying at my gym, the only people I’ve seen walk away without cleaning the machines are men. I’m not sure why this is, but I’m disturbed by the regularity of it.

Another real pet peeve of mine at PF is the circuit training area. I really like this area. I think it’s a great workout and I actually kind of like it. However, despite the fact that there are signs all over it saying that the area is for circuit training only, every single time I use it, someone (and once again, it is always a guy) pops in just to do one or two of the weight machines, even though the exact same weight machines are just across the gym in the weight area. Once, I did 19 of the 20 stations, skipping the bicep machine when I initially came to it because for the entire time I was doing the circuit, a guy was just using the bicep machine. I finally had to tell him that I needed to use it to finish my circuit. He apologized and gave it to me (and even cleaned it), but he clearly knew what I was doing and had already made me skip over the machine once, which I just thought was rude. I often have to do the machines out of order because someone has decided to just use the machine I need next.

My latest annoyance at the gym is guys–and yes, I know that it seems like I am really down on men…I’m not…I simply adore them…but for some reason the only people who break the rules of etiquette around me are men–is people who hop onto machines right next to me. In the last two weeks, I’ve had three different guys hop on the machine right next to me (one Arc Trainer, one stationary bike and one elliptical) despite the fact that the gym is nearly empty and there are plenty of other open machines in the row. Last night I was surrounded by empty stationary bikes (I was the only person on one) and a guy decided to plop right down next to me for his workout. There were 8 other bikes open and he took the one right next to me. Now, it’s not like he was touching me, or eyeing me or talking to me, but it was still odd. I could feel the heat coming off of him and I didn’t like it. When there are so many empty machines around, why pick the one right next to me? I know some people pick their machines based on what is on the TVs overhead, but he had a device to watch.

None of these issues are big enough for me to stop going to the gym or even really say anything, but I just find it out that some people seem so oblivious to basic gym etiquette, even when there are signs all over the place explaining it.

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